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Vineyard Country Bed and Breakfast Windhoek - Travel News Namibia

Vineyard Country Bed and Breakfast Windhoek

Ugab Terrace Lodge – north-west Namibia
September 3, 2012
Gondwana Cañon Park
September 3, 2012

A delightful retreat

by Ron Swilling

Driving the two kilometres out of Windhoek, I crossed the puddles in the Klein Windhoek riverbed and drove into the peaceful surrounds of the Vineyard Country Bed and Breakfast. The sky was cloudy and thunder rumbled across the green hills. As evening drew near, the sound of francolins filled the air, sun patches lit up grapevines and pink bursts of cosmos flowers, and a fine rain fell.

vineyard

The hundred-year-old stone house has walls that are sixty centimetres thick. Old farm implements are scattered around and wheelbarrows filled with colourful flowers are cheerfully parked along the paths.

This old farm makes a delightful retreat, although situated only a short drive from the city centre in close proximity to the suburb of Klein Windhoek with its many restaurants. The seven rooms were recently refurbished, with modern stucco Italian-style bathrooms and basins added.

Fine pieces of antique wooden furniture were retained, adding character. Hentie Burger’s striking photographs of Namibian landscapes decorate the walls and custom-built extra-long two-metre wooden beds and attractive cupboards furnish the bedrooms.

vineyard

 

The terracotta tiles or wooden floors, wooden furniture and large beds create a comfortable, warm living space. The original Oregon pine window frames were sanded down, stripped of decades of paint, and the view is onto the grapevines once cultivated for wine and now producing table grapes enjoyed for their delicious taste.

The rooms include a family unit with an upstairs loft creating a space for children’s beds. The guest has a choice of the seven rooms, the prices varying to accommodate budget.

A place of history

The Bassingthwaighte home is a charming place of history, once a vineyard and later a dairy. Colin and Noelene fell in love with the place thirteen years ago. They tell me how they discussed the purchase with the previous owner over a bottle of Avis Red.

vineyard

They have since converted various parts of the homestead, such as the original wine cellar, which is now an honesty bar with the vats once used for storing wine transformed into stools, and old bottles and barrels lining the shelves and floor.

The old dairy has been converted into a conference room to accommodate 30 to 40 people and a large thatched lapa has been built to create a venue for functions and weddings, the bride and groom being able to ride in a horse-drawn cart from the parking area and to walk down a vine-trellised path. Marquees can be added to increase the size and there is a chapel gazebo for services. A bar area is presently under construction.

Nestled between two hills, the lights of Windhoek are blocked out and the indigenous Namibian bush creates a special country ambience.

vineyard

Sharing a bottle of wine at their kitchen table, Colin told me snippets of family history, such as how the first Bassingthwaighte of Welsh origin to sail to Africa was one of the early pioneers in Namibia, coming ashore at Sandwich Harbour near Walvis Bay to barter for cattle to send to the island of St Helena. Colin brought out a large book of his family tree and entertained me with his family’s history.

Country peace

The night was quiet and inside the thick stone walls I felt protected as I curled up under the cotton sheets, listening for owls and jackals until the gentle sound of the rain lulled me to sleep.

In the morning I made my way up to the elevated breakfast deck situated along the path where three large cypress trees dominate the sky and enjoyed a relaxed buffet breakfast and a peaceful country view.

A few kilometres from the city en route to the airport, Vineyard Country B&B is close enough for easy access into central Windhoek, yet retains the peace of the country. It is ideal for overnighters, and as a base for a few days to balance the city bustle on the way in and out of the country, or as a venue for a conference or special occasion, whether a fortieth birthday with a spit braai (spit roast/barbecue) or a wedding celebration.

Driving back along the short gravel access road wet from the late summer rains, the surrounding bush vivid green, I appreciated the history of the land, the rambling grape vines and the thick stone walls, the sense of a place steeped in character and of a home well-loved.

This article appeared in the June/July ‘08 edition of Travel News Namibia.
 Additional photos courtesy of http://www.vineyardcountrystay.com/index.html
Travel News Namibia
Travel News Namibia
Travel News Namibia is a high-quality glossy Namibia travel and lifestyle magazine tasked with promoting Namibia to the world. With riveting stories, first-hand encounters and magnificent photographs showcasing tourism, travel, nature, adventure and conservation, TNN is the ultimate and most comprehensive guide to exploring Namibia. Travel News Namibia is published in five different editions per year. These include four English- language editions and one German. Travel News Namibia is for sale in Namibia and South Africa.

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